Collage of historical images.

Wisconsin History Essays

Learn something new about the past and gain a deeper understanding of your world. Hundreds of essays tell the stories of the people, places and events that are Wisconsin history.

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Search by keyword below to find information on Wisconsin's history.

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Historical Essay

Madison's Fur Traders

The First White Men in Madison

The first white residents of Madison were fur traders Wallace Rowan, Olivier Ammel and Michel St. Cyr.

A Warrior Prepared to Die is Disappointed

Discover the story of a Ho-Chunk warrior who surrenders and is grieved at receiving a fair trial.

Historical Essay

More Bank Failures (1857)

Discover the effects that the Panic of 1857 had on La Crosse.

Historical Essay

The Birth of Lake Delton

Learn about the rise of Wisconsin Dells tourism, and read about the creation and collapse of the man-made river it was founded on.

Historical Essay

The Trial of Chief Oshkosh

The Clash of U.S Law and Indian Legal Tradition

Learn how the trial of Menominee Chief Oshkosh, one of the most famous in Wisconsin history, pitted Indian traditional justice against white man's law.

Historical Essay

Death to Capital Punishment

How Wisconsin Eliminated the Death Penalty

Read about the final person to be executed in Wisconsin before the state prohibited the death penalty.

When and where did The Gideons International really begin? There are more answers then you would think. Give this a read and decide for yourself.

Historical Essay

Lumberjack Saved Union Fleet

3,000 Dam the Red River

Read this wild story about a Wisconsin Dells lumberjack applying his knowledge of dams to help Union forces escape a Confederate attack.

Historical Essay

A League of Their Own

All-American Girls Baseball League Thrives During World War II

The story of the All-American Girls Baseball League that thrilled fans for 12 seasons in cities and towns including Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee.

Two Lawyers Spur Abolitionist Reform and Universal Voting Rights

Learn how Byron Paine and Halbert E. Paine used the power of law for radical abolitionist reform in mid-19th century Wisconsin.
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Have Questions?

If you have questions about historical research, please contact our Library Reference Services staff by phone at 608-264-6535 or by email.

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